New Vision (Kampala)

10 February 2013

Uganda: Butaleja - Museveni Explains Heavy Police Deployment

President Yoweri Museveni has said he directed deployment of police to Butaleja ahead of the polls for the Woman MP for Butaleja district, following threats by the FDC leader Kiiza Besigye to bring over 6000 people that he described as observers.

"I was told that when a big police force came yesterday, people were worried. I'm the one who sent the police because when Besigye came here, he said he would bring 6000 observers. 6000 observers to do what? What we want in the field now...we want three types of people; the voters - yourselves and your children, those who stay here. The second group is the election officials of government from the Electoral Commission and the third is party officials who are accredited to the electoral commission as prescribed by law as observers. But anybody else who is coming, police will not allow you. That is why police came here," President Museveni said.

He was on Saturday addressing a rally at Busolwe open grounds in Butaleja district. He later addressed another rally at Nampologoma where thousands of people turned up to show solidarity with their party and candidate.

"The police came because of the schemes of the FDC. FDC is a bad party. They want to rig. You should be very alert so that your agents wake up early and be at the polling station by 5am. Even when votes are brought agents must be there. Otherwise you have nothing to worry about the police; they are your friends not enemies," he said.

Museveni warned against sectarianism, saying a person who claims to be a Christian or Muslim and yet preaches tribalism must be avoided.

"What was the tribe of Jesus? Was He a Munyole? Why are you following Jesus yet he was not a Munyole. But Jesus brought good news to the people especially the Jews present at the time. The message was bringing solutions. What needs to be done and what we need not to do. That is why we follow His teachings. Many of you are Muslims, was Muhammed a Muslim? What are you talking about when you talk of tribes and religion? He said.

The President also explained why the NRM Party Flag bearer was abroad.

"Other confusion was that Florence was studying and was not staying here. Yes she was not staying here because she was studying. Was that a bad thing for your child to go and study? If she had finished studying and stayed abroad for many years, then you could say she didn't have interest in us, but the girl was studying and when studying she was active in the NRM Chapter in the United Kingdom," he said adding that irrespective of her tribe, Florence Nebanda is a daughter of the land who has her people at heart.

The President, who paid tribute to the deceased MP Nebanda for being active.

"I know you have got telephones here and I can see masts. The government is doing its lubimbi of developing this area. You the people have your responsibilities too including improving your household incomes following the advice of the government, "he said.

Museveni said while it was good that the Banyole are aggressively involved in rice growing and that government was already repairing the channels of Doho Rice scheme, it was important that they also adopt other projects including fish farming, fruit growing and diary milk production.

"Your other responsibility is for the youth to keep healthy and avoid Aids especially through promiscuity. Be very careful with your life. And the third is to support the NRM government to implement its projects. We shall do the roads but you should also maintain your support of NRM," he said.

The NRM flag bearer Florence Andiru Nebanda commended President Museveni for his support and pledged to fight poverty and guard against environmental degradation. She thanked the people for electing her during the primaries that led to her being the NRM flag bearer and for their support during the time of bereavement when they lost the former member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda her sister.

She said with the NRM in power, they would work to resolve their problems. She hailed her challengers in the primaries for their support and said together they should unite and develop Bunyole.

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